1
vote
1answer
56 views

Deriving and gaining intuition for the equation for the index of refraction $n = \sqrt{\mu_r\epsilon_r}$

I've come across the equation in the title. It relates the index of refraction of a substance to the square root of the product of the relative permittivity and the relative permeability at whatever ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What does non magnetic and nonconducting mean in reflection and transmission of waves?

So, we were ask to consider the Fresnel Equations for parallel and perpendicular waves (with index of refractions). Then, we are ask to prove some equations in which "... for nonmagnetic ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Speed of different em radiation in a medium

Does all frequency of light travel with the same speed in a particular material like glass? Since by cauchy's relation refractive index change with wavelength which implies the speed also changes. ...
2
votes
3answers
251 views

How Does $\epsilon$ Relate to the Dampened Harmonic Motion of Electrons?

I realize that the permittivity $\epsilon$ of a substance is easily calculated based on diffraction angles, but I am not satisfied with merely measuring it experimentally. I wish to understand its ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

Physical explanation for why total internal reflection occurs

I have been trying to understand total internal reflection (and have read several posts on this site already). Mathematically, I feel that I understand how the evanescent wave decays exponentially as ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Idea of precursors of the electro-magnetic waves

The idea of the material Maxwell equation is almost clear. But I'm curious about the idea that except for material equation the pure Maxwell equation should work, but in harder sense: more currents ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

In electro-optic material, what is happening to the structure of the material for the index of refraction to change?

I apologize if electro-optic material is not the correct word. As I understand it, when an electric field is applied to an electro-optic material, the index of refraction changes in proportion to the ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

How does one determine whether an object will make an EM wave refract in a qualitative way?

for example, i have a vague notion that the actual answer is that the permittivity and permisivity are different in each different material, so all waves refract at every boundary, but we only call it ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the mechanism behind the slowdown of light/photons in a transparent medium?

So light travels slower in glass (for example) than in a vacuum. What causes light to slow down? Or: How does it slow down? If light passes through the medium, is it not essentially traveling in the ...